Award-winning chef Gordon Ramsay, acclaimed chef Aarón Sánchez and renowned restaurateur Joe Bastianich put a new batch of talented home cooks through a series of challenges and elimination rounds.
Forty of the best home cooks in America travel to Los Angeles to present their signature dishes to the distinguished judging panel: Gordon Ramsay, Graham Elliot, and new judge Christina Tosi.
The initial forty cooks continue to battle for a coveted white apron and a spot in the Top 22.
The Top 22 home cooks in America face their first Mystery Box Challenge. Each contestant is given 20 staple ingredients that anyone could find in their home and tasked with preparing a dish for the judges — were the judges to show up at their homes for dinner. The winner of the Mystery Box Challenge receives a significant advantage in the season's first pressure test, during which contestants must make their versions of an apple pie.
The remaining 20 home cooks face their first team challenge of the season at an amusement park. Once teams are decided, each team is tasked with creating its version of an amusement park burger and fish & chips dish for thousands of amusement park guests. The winning team is safe from elimination, while the losing team has to face the first pressure test of the season, during which the home cooks make 12 cinnamon rolls.
The next mystery box challenge has the home cooks come out of their shells and prepare unique crab dishes for the judges. The home cook who prepares the best crab dish receives a significant advantage before the next elimination challenge. Then the remaining home cooks create their versions of sweet or savory dishes, using the same surprise ingredient of corn.
In the second field challenge of the season, the home cooks take a surprise trip to Las Vegas, where they are split into two teams to take over Drai's Nightclub and feed 101 Las Vegas performers. The team who receives the most winning votes from the Las Vegas performer diners is safe from the next pressure test, while the losing team deals with a deuce steak contest at Gordon Ramsay's Steak. In the pressure test, the home cooks face two steak challenges testing temperature and taste, and one contestant is sent home.
In the next challenge, it's proven that Breakfast is indeed the most important meal of the day when the home cooks are each tasked to create an elevated breakfast dish in 45 minutes. Not only does the winner have immunity in the next mystery box challenge, but they also receive two additional advantages. Later, in the mystery box challenge, contestants must create TV dinners.
Each team prepares a two-course menu for the 100th episode celebration, during which VIP guests dine on oyster and caviar appetizers and a duck breast entrée, followed by a special surprise dish by judge Christina Tosi. The losing team faces the next pressure test, in which contestants must create a three-layer birthday cake.
The remaining home cooks learn from the best as they enter a special taste-it-and-make-it challenge. Each contestant must recreate Gordon Ramsay's signature Beef Wellington. The home cooks with the worst dishes compete in the next pressure test, featuring another Gordon Ramsay dish — scallops with puree of English peas, bacon, and quail eggs, finished with shaved truffles. Find out who can keep up with the master and who is sent home for good.
In the next mystery box challenge, the remaining home cooks must create a rice dish in 60 minutes. The contestant with the winning dish will be featured in Family Circle Magazine and do not have to participate in the next elimination challenge. Then, in the elimination challenge, contestants are tasked with creating dishes based on dynamic duo ingredients. Find out who makes it into the Top 10 best home cooks in America.
The Top 10 home cooks enter the Wild West when they face their next team challenge and create steak meals for 101 cowboys and ranchers. The team that receives the most winning votes moo-ve on in the competition, while the remaining home cooks face the next pressure test. For the pressure test the losing team bakes tarts and see who can bake their way to victory.
The Top 10 home cooks cook family style when they face their next team challenge and create family style meals for VIP diners. After each team prepares their family style meals, they are greeted by the dinner guests, their family members. Each diner votes for one team's meal and the team with the most votes is safe from the next pressure test. In the pressure test, the losing team home cooks must create a gnocchi-in-brown-sage-butter-sauce dish.
The cooks prepare a flambé in a mystery box challenge, and the winner is safe from elimination and also gets to choose which Southern dish the contestants must make. The winner also receives two other significant advantages.
In the next team challenge, the remaining home cooks split into teams to prepare vegetarian meals for guests of the MasterChef restaurant. Teams have access to any ingredients that they choose in the MasterChef pantry, as long as the dishes are vegetarian. The winning team is safe from elimination, while the losing team must cook in the next pressure test and create delicious well-composed meals using various cuts from an animal head.
In the next mystery box challenge, the remaining home cooks must create a dish using coffee as one of the main ingredients. The winner of the challenge receives a significant advantage in the next pressure test and is safe from elimination. Then, during the pressure test, contestants team up in pairs as they replicate an elaborate party platter.
In the next team challenge, the Top 6 home cooks face the wildly popular restaurant takeover. Each team must complete two appetizer and two entree dishes for the dining guests in a downtown Los Angeles restaurant. The winning team is safe from elimination, while the losing team members face the next pressure test, in which they prep, cook, and plate three different pasta dishes. Find out who can't stand the heat of the restaurant kitchen and who moves on to the Top 5.
In the next mystery box challenge, the Top 5 home cooks must create a dish using pear, blue cheese, tomato, portabella mushroom, and chocolate. The winner receives both safety from elimination and the power to choose among 4 baskets of ingredients for the elimination challenge, baskets that were put together with the help of the 3 former MasterChef winners.
The 4 remaining contestants use special ingredients from Gordon and Graham in the next team challenge. Each team must create a unique appetizer and entrée, and create them 3 times. The losing pair face a pressure test in which they must recreate judge Christina Tosi's world-famous Chocolate Malted Layer Cake to see who rounds out the Top 3.
In the next challenge, with a little help from a few other home cooks, the remaining three contestants create dishes for 30 restaurant guests who serve an important role in the judges' culinary world. The home cook with the most number of votes moves on in the competition, while the remaining two home cooks face the next pressure test, during which they must complete three classic MasterChef dishes. The home cook with the best dishes moves on to the finals.
In the final challenge in the MasterChef kitchen, the Top Two home cooks have one last chance to prove to the judges that they deserve the MasterChef title by creating a three-course meal. After evaluating the final dishes, the judges reveal America's next MasterChef, and the deserving home cook walks away with a MasterChef trophy, a book deal and the $250,000 grand prize.